Behind the Mask: Home Facial Masks that Work

Nothing like covering your face in a thick layer of green goo to make you feel like you’ve drifted away to spa. But what is that green gunk anyway? And is it the best choice for your skin and your schedule? Here are our picks for facial masks that target various skin issues and some tips on when to use them.

Balancing Facial Masks

Fluctuations in hormones or weather changes can spike oil production. To draw out excess oil, detoxify and balance skin, try a clay or mud-based mask.

  • Pur Minerals Mineral Mudd Masque with a unique form of detoxifying betonite clay called Pascalite, $25 at
  • Lisa Hoffman Spa Facial Clay Mask with a balancing clay complex, $20 at
  • Zia Natural Skincare French Clay Purifying Mask with a blend of pink French clay and detoxifying herbs, $24 at most healthfood stores and
  • Jurlique Intense Recovery Mask with kaolin, herbs and plant oils, $49 at
  • Biore Self-Heating Mask with kaolin and zeolite for oily skin (in single-use packets great for travel), $5.99 at most drugstores.

Clarifying Facial Masks

When breakouts spoil your otherwise glowing complexion, try a clarifying or deep pore cleansing mask. Look for ingredients such as salicyclic acid or sulfur that attack acne.

  • CosMedix Clear Clarifying Mask with sulfur, minerals and naturally clarifying salicylic acid (can also be used as spot treatment), $42 at
  • Bliss Steep Clean Pore Purifying Facial Mask with enzymes, salicylic acid and citrus extracts, $54 at and Bliss Scottsdale.
  • Queen Helene Mint Julep Masque with sulfur (an oldie but goody), $4 at

Masks to Use Before a Big Event

For your spotlight moment, bring on the glow with these uplifting, energizing, tightening treatments.

  • Sephora Power Mask – Hydrogel Face Mask (pictured) with a super-hydrating infusion of hyaluronic acid, $10 at and Sephora stores.
  • Bliss Triple Oxygen Instant Energizing Facial Mask with oxygen molecules and Vitamin C, $52 at and Bliss Scottsdale.
  • Zia 15 Minute Face Lift kit with plumping wheat proteins and seaweed extracts, $20.95 at
  • Koh Gen Do Macro Vintage Essence Mask with nourishing Chinese herbs and moisturizers, $96 at
  • LUSH Aeysha Fresh Face Mask with witch hazel, vitamins and rose oil, $5.95 in LUSH stores only (must be refrigerated).


  • If you’re prone to allergic reactions, test the mask on the inside of your arm before applying to your face.
  • Always apply facial masks to clean skin and follow the directions on the label.
  • To intensify the glow and prolong its effectiveness, keep your mask in the frig.
  • Be sure to slather on the sunscreen after using a clarifying or exfoliating mask as they may make skin more sensitive.
  • Use masks no more than once a week unless directed otherwise by a qualified professional.